In the original Broadway production of this William Inge play, Shirley Booth played Lola Delaney, the vulgar, dumpy, less-than-bright "shotgun bride" of recovering alcoholic Doc Delaney, played on stage by Sidney Blackmer, who won a Tony award for his efforts. When time came to film the play, Shirley Booth was retained as Lola, but Burt Lancaster replaced Blackmer as Doc. Although Lancaster seems far too youthful for the role, the film is a fascinating and sometimes funny study of an unhappy marriage made unhappier by the arrival of a sexy stranger. Young Marie (Terry Moore) rents a room from Lola, a tiresome creature who never stops talking, especially about the "imminent" return of her runaway dog Sheba. Doc is having enough trouble staying away from the bottle and resigning himself to his marriage without the curvaceous Marie arousing his baser instincts. The characters interact with gloomy consequences, in the typical kitchen-sink-realism style of Inge's Fifties plays, although a tacked-on happy ending, common to Fifties movie melodramas, pretends otherwise.
by Hal Erickson synopsis